Product launch is a key step in the product life cycle. Being able to correctly launch a product will decide of the product success… or failure!
The Go-To-Market strategy is one of the responsibilities of the Product Manager.
This article explains some of the keys concepts to achieve a successful go-to-market.
Target the customers best prepared to choose your product
When you launch an innovative product, you should profile your future clients. Not only in terms of industry, or level of hierarchy, but especilly in terms of ability to integrate innovation.
This has been developed by Geoffrey A. Moore in a book, called « Crossing the chasm » which shows the different profiles of clients and explains their appetite for innovation.
Early adopters are looking for revolutionary breakthrough, to build dramatic competitive advantage in their industry. They are ready to take risks.
Pragmatists, also described as « early majority » are risk-adverse. They are looking for stable products, proven solution. The gap betweem these two categories, early adopters and pragmatists is huge. This is the chasm… where many companies fall down.
Conservative clients will only adopt products when they have been used for a long time.
Laggards will only adopt the product when they are forced to do so (law, survival…).
As a high-tech, innovative company, you will target the 2 first categories to increase your chances to break into the market. Going directly to the next ones would be a waste of time and money.
Identify the most promizing market segments
Instead of addressing the whole market, it is highly recommended to identify well-defined segments of the global market and address them once after the other.
- identify a beachhead : a single market segment (Seg1) where you sell your product (App 1) and from which you will pursue the mainstream market
- identify the next market segment(s) (Seg 2, Seg 3…) where you can sell the same product (App 1)
- identify new offer (e.g. same technology + new services or product evolution etc.) that you could sell to the same market segment(s)
A good beachhead has 2 main characteristics:
- the customers have a single, compelling, « must have » reason to buy the product
- this first market segment offers natural footbridge to enter contiguous market segments.
Some traps to avoid…
Many high-tech companies make the mistake to address a vast number of very different market segments at the same time. They fail by an excess of enthusiasm!
Every market segment start asking for additional services and/or evolutions. R&D department, Professional Services are quartered, trying to achieve contradictory goals. Nobody is satisfied. Problems increase…
Most firms simply do not have the resources to addressmultiple market segmentsin parallel.
High-tech companies often consider technology only. They underestimate the need for information and services around the product. The consequence is that they are wick in analyzing the difference between the market segments. They consider the market as a whole entity, with no difference in their needs. They fail to really answer customers requirements.
So, if you want to succeed in your go-to-market, consider deep market analysis and customer profiling!